PLF to highlight abuses by coastal land-use agencies

December 02, 2013 | By PAUL BEARD

Backed by the politically powerful interests of those who want (uncompensated) beach access and undeveloped shorelines, coastal land-use agencies have exercised ever-increasing power over property owners in their jurisdictions.

As I explain in this video, this week, PLF is highlighting the rampant abuse of coastal landowners by those agencies. We will be blogging, and posting videos and podcasts, about our Coastal Land Rights Project—the issues that coastal landowners face, our many cases in the courts challenging agency abuse, and what the future holds for the right of coastal landowners to use, enjoy, and protect their properties.

Of course, one of the most infamous abusers of private property rights is the California Coastal Commission, which controls “development”—i.e., any human activity—along the State’s coast. That agency gained national recognition in a 1987 decision of the United States Supreme Court called Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, where the Court slapped down the Commission’s attempt to exact a public-access easement from a coastal landowner who wanted simply to replace his bungalow with a single-family home; the Court characterized the Commission’s exaction as an “out-and-out plan of extortion.” Sadly, the Commission continues undeterred in its attempt to exact property from coastal landowners who need a permit to build on their land—which is why the agency is one of PLF’s primary targets in the courts.

But California’s coastal landowners aren’t the only ones facing rogue land-use agencies. We have defended, or are defending, coastal landowners in states across the country—Washington, Texas, North Carolina, and others.

Check in with us every day this week, as we reveal the abuses of these coastal land-use agencies and what PLF is doing to protect the rights of coastal landowners.